From: Donna Crane, Policy Director
Date: June 30, 2008
Subject: Bill Bennett Distorts Sen. Barack Obama’s Record
On today’s edition of CNN’s “Situation Room,” Bill Bennett made outright false statements about Sen. Barack Obama’s record on choice.
Bennett claimed that a so-called “born-alive” bill on which Sen. Obama voted during his time in the Illinois Senate was identical to a federal bill that NARAL Pro-Choice America did not oppose. Bennett is absolutely wrong.
The Illinois bill did not include a provision that explicitly avoided entanglement in the abortion debate, as the federal bill did. It is inaccurate for any reporter, commentator, or surrogate for the McCain campaign to suggest otherwise.
Please see the following language from the federal version (which did not appear in the Illinois bill):
“Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being ‘born alive’ as defined in this section.”
Source: H.R.2175 (2002)
As a final note, this federal bill was signed into law on August 5, 2002—not in 2003, as Bennett repeatedly claimed on CNN.
If you have questions, please contact NARAL Pro-Choice America at 202-973-3032.
NARAL Pro-Choice America
1156 15th Street, NW Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 973-3034 (direct)
(202) 973-2034 (fax)